For years, traditional metal braces were the only option for straightening teeth and treating major dental issues. While your orthodontist may still prescribe traditional braces for certain conditions, today’s patients have alternatives, like Invisalign®. A perfect smile isn’t just good for your appearance, it’s good for your health overall. Read on for what to consider when choosing braces or Invisalign® to achieve your ideal smile.


The Invisalign® system uses a series of clear aligners to adjust your teeth’s position over time. Patients of all ages choose Invisalign because it’s not as noticeable as traditional braces. Once Invisalign® treatment completes, patients must wear plastic retainers nightly to ensure their teeth stay put.


Conditions Treated With Invisalign®

Invisalign® is usually a good option for patients with simpler orthodontic needs, like crooked or crowded teeth, also called teeth malocclusion.

Appointment Frequency

Your orthodontist will instruct you when to switch to a new stage of Invisalign®. Since you keep your set of aligners with you, you don’t need as many appointments, as you can carry on the plan between visits. 

Eating With Invisalign®

You can remove your aligners during meals, allowing more freedom to eat and drink what you please. It’s important not to eat while wearing Invisalign® as food particles can damage the aligners. Lastly, avoid hot beverages because the heat can warp the plastic and impact treatment. 

Caring For Invisalign®

Rinse Invisalign® every time you take them out, and gently brush them each night using a clear anti-bacterial soap, not toothpaste. Soak your aligners once a week in denture cleaner or similar solvent to keep them clean and sanitized.

Brush and floss your teeth before putting in your aligners to prevent trapping food particles in your teeth, causing cavities and other complications.


Traditional Braces

Traditional braces use wires and small brackets to straighten patients’ smiles. They are available in metal or ceramic. The ceramic braces are less noticeable. 

Conditions Treated with Braces

Braces can treat certain dental conditions that other solutions cannot. Orthodontists usually prescribe braces for complex dental issues—like a misaligned bite— but they can fix simpler issues as well. 

Appointment Frequency

Patients commonly schedule monthly orthodontist visits to have their braces re-tightened or adjusted. The average braces treatment lasts 18 months.

Eating With Braces

Patients should avoid certain foods while wearing braces, especially if they’re crunchy or sticky. For easier consumption, cut your food into smaller pieces.

Caring For Braces

It’s recommended to brush and floss both your teeth and braces four times a day. Use fluoride toothpaste and replace your brush often to keep your mouth as clean as possible during treatment. For more about maintaining oral hygiene with braces, read our brushing and flossing guide.

Weighing Your Options

Talk to your orthodontist to determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign or traditional braces. Each option has advantages to consider, but the right treatment method will depend on your unique dental needs. ​

Why Choose Prentice Orthodontics?

Prentice Orthodontic’s clients achieve straighter smiles and better overall health through our state-of-the-art dental practice. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 303-468-7722.